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SYFY WIRE Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch explains those extensive 'Multiverse of Madness' reshoots

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness portals into theaters on May 6, 2022.

By Josh Weiss
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Not even the multiverse, with its infinite possibilities, is immune to the scourge of Hollywood reshoots. Several weeks back, The Hollywood Reporter brought word that Marvel Studios was kicking off six weeks of additional shooting time for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Reports were mixed on what this implied about the initial cut of the movie (directed by Spider-Man vet Sam Raimi), but Benedict Cumberbatch is here to allay some of those fears.

Chatting with Empire for the magazine's end-of-2021 issue, the Sorcerer Supreme himself explained the true reason behind all the new footage: to go back and do things that weren't possible during principal photography due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're in the middle of reshoots and we're working incredibly hard to make a schedule work to realize the full potential of the film — bits we want to do better, but also bits that were just impossible to do on the day because logistics, COVID, etc," he said. "We were so delayed in production, because of that. Luckily, not during production too much. Although everything is just a little slower."

SYFY WIRE caught up with Raimi in September and attempted to pry some Multiverse of Madness secrets out of the acclaimed horror filmmaker. Sadly, he was bound by a powerful silencing spell and couldn't give up any teasers about the project. “They won’t let me say anything," he said, referring to Marvel Studios' strict no-spoilers policy. "I guess not...I’m sorry.”

However, he was able to give us his thoughts on seeing Alfred Molina's return as Doctor Octopus in the Spider-Man: No Way Home, whose story directly ties into the Doctor Strange sequel.

We were also able to bag an interview with Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron, who effectively gave rise to the multiverse with his Loki TV series on Disney+.

"It’s a thrill ride," Waldron teased of Strange's big screen follow-up. "It’s a thrill ride with heart like you’d expect from a Sam Raimi superhero movie. Sam’s a genius and the way he moves the camera is really exciting and he’s not afraid to take chances. I think it’s gonna be a really cool experience for everybody."

Another Marvel show on Disney+ — WandaVision — is also set to factor into the plot of the sequel, with Elizabeth Olsen reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. Whether she returns as friend or foe remains to be seen.

Benedict Wong (Wong), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), and Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez making her MCU debut) co-star.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness portals into theaters everywhere on May 6, 2022.